Section  Three  ~   Page  4


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CLASS  OF   '69  REUNION ~ 1989

The invitations sent to the members of the class of 1969 of E. W. Grove High School either had a typographical error or someone (namely Eddie Reynolds, who Was in charge of sending them out) just plain goofed. According to the invitations, the setting for the reunion was to be on Grove Hill itself in front of Cavitt Hall, the former headquarters of the famous Grove High Band and the Home Ed. department. Members of the class coming from out of town were very surprised when they arrived at the site of the reunion and found instead of Cavitt Hall and the rest of the old Grove Campus, the concerned citizens of Paris had placed their new city dump on that location. Expecting to see the historic landmark surrounded by the beauty of the spring season, the old graduates were confronted with cardboard boxes, empty bear cans, garbage, and several large rats. Needless to say, several people were rather upset, especially when it was rumored that President Larry Gibson was to make an appearance. Imagine the President coming to a class reunion held at the city dump! Luckily, Eddie had the presence of mind to tell Patty Sonka (assistant chairman of the reunion committee) to call the radio station and tell Barry Crowe, head of WTPR, to announce that there had been a mistake and that the reunion would be held at new-improved-Ogburn Park.

I was really surprised at the success of the reunion. Old classmates from all over the world were able to come and join the festivities. Someone said that most of them came because they heard the President would be there and that they might get a chance to be on television, but I'm sure that wasn't true. George Campbell rode in on the motor he had made for physics project. He had dedicated his life to improving it and had added wheels and a steering column just for the occasion. Unfortunately, he hadn't gotten around to adding brakes yet; so it was a good thing Dr. Baucum was there to patch him up when he ran into that tree.
Cindy Rawls, a local rancher, was little late because the horse she was riding threw a shoe on the way. Luckily she was able to hitch a ride on John Jones' tractor and so didn't miss any of the games planned for us by Jane Oliver and Kay Odom.

Lieutenant Lynn Paschall refused to play some of the games, like hide and seek, because he was afraid he would get his uniform dirty. Thoughtful Jacki Gillespie, physical education teacher at Atkins Porter, had bought along a bottle of Rex cleaner which she had bought from a band member when she was in high school, and so Lynn was able to play after all.

For entertainment Janet French, accompanied by Dorothy Darby on the harmonica, sang. "Halls of Grove High" and other well-loved songs. Also on the program, Angie Caldwell, well known entomologist, gave a demonstration of her insect collection. Ann Laird and Mark Leffler set up a concession stand and sold sketches of the scene for twenty-five cents to whoever wanted a momento of the occasion. Colored sketches were ten cents extra.

Dr. Kathy Neumann, surgeon and part time neighborhood Girl Scout Leader, assisted by Susan Mitchell built a fire to roast the hot dogs when Gaines Hedges, local barber, and Dickie Wyatt, band director, failed. The roasting of the hot dogs was supervised by Patch McDaniel, home economist, but as everyone wanted his hot dog roasted differently she soon gave up and let everyone make his own. Half-way through lunch Ben Barrett showed up with a big container of chicken he had just barbecued on his 4-H Barbecue grill. Immediately he was mobbed by a bunch of hot dog-haters, who comprised the majority of the class. After lunch, all the boys present nominated the girls to clean up the mess and wash the dishes. War was nearly declared until Frances Cary, hospital administrator at Henry County Consolidated Hospital, whispered that she would clean up the entire mess the way her hospital kitchens did-she built a bonfire and threw all the dishes and garbage in. She was promptly named "most successful" until the flames spread to David Chilcutt's new car and someone had to call the fire department.
The entertainment was beginning to drag so resourceful Judge Rankin Feezor whipped out his portable hip pocket television set.
Joey Harrison, electrician and inventor of the kit "How to Build a Motor in Two Easy

  Lessons," wired the nearby trees so that everyone could hear the programs well. Rankin had the set turned to channel 4, but the Billy Gilbert Show was on and everyone had already heard the jokes so he turned to channel 5. Bobbie Greer, novelist, was being interviewed by Rita Whitfield, roving reporter, about Bobbie's latest book "God, Mother, and Apple Pie". This highly controversial book had been banned in Paris, but nearly everyone in our class had gone to Fulton and gotten a copy in paperback.

Suddenly Frances Upchurch, Sunday school teacher, jumped up and started yelling, "The President is coming! The President is coming!" Everyone went wild with excitement, especially the former band members who had been looking forward to this moment for a long time. Around the comer past the Watson Shopping Center came into view the presidential motorcade led by tiny American flags fluttering m the breeze. Secret servicemen Carpenter, Irvine, and Kriesky stood on the running board of the black Limousine which held President Larry Gibson and some high ranking members of his cabinet: Nancy Phelps - Minister of Foreign Affairs, Richard Maxwell - Minister of Internal Intelligence, and Linda Weibley-Head of the FBI. The motorcade pulled up next to the tennis courts and the President stepped out. The secret servicemen immediately formed a circle around him to protect from the former band members. The President addressed a few short words to commemorate the occasion and then got back in his limousine.

By this time it was getting rather late and many people had already begun to leave. Members of the reunion committee decided that this was as good a time as any to bring the event to a close. Eddie blew a whistle and instructed everyone to join hands in a circle. Helen Wyatt, lead soprano for the Metropolitan Opera, led the singing of "Day is Done" which signaled the end of the reunion. Amid tears of sadness the indigestion the members of the class of '69 departed-some on their tractors, some on their motors, and one in a slightly charred new car being pushed by Frances Gary.


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